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Phoenix Suns' Monty Williams wins NBA Coach of the Year Award

Phoenix Suns' Monty Williams wins NBA Coach of the Year Award
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams guided the Suns to the NBA's best record during the regular season. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

May 9 (UPI) -- Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns captured the Red Auerbach Trophy as the NBA Coach of the Year for the 2021-22 season, the league announced Monday.

Williams earned the award by a landslide, receiving 81 first-place votes and finishing with 458 overall points in balloting by a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. He received the honor a year after finishing second in 2020-21 Coach of the Year voting -- 11 points behind winner Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks.

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Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins (17 first-place votes, 270 points) and Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat (one first-place vote, 72 points) finished second and third this year, respectively.

This marks Williams' first NBA Coach of the Year Award, and he joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D'Antoni (2004-05) as previous Suns coaches to earn the honor.

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Under Williams, the Suns ended the regular season with a league-best 64-18 record and earned the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Along the way, Phoenix won a franchise-record 18 straight games and posted an unblemished 16-0 mark in November.

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Last month, Williams was honored with the National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award for the second consecutive season.

The 50-year-old Williams is in his third season as head coach of the Suns. He previously served as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans for five seasons (2010-15). He has a career 322-299 record.

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